In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to ... See full summary »
In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to destroy the lord's family. (The "banshee" of this tale bears no resemblance to the normal usage of the term!) Written by
Marg Baskin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film is set in Elizabethan England and revolves around a wicked magistrate who tries to kill all the members of a coven of witches. This makes the leader of the coven, Oona, sworn enemies of the lord and his family. To get revenge Oona calls up a magical servant, a "sidhe", to destroy the lord's family. The titular "cry of the banshee" is the signal that someone will die.
Vincent Price carries this film, as there are no other big name actors to speak of. Mike Mayo says he is "not at his best" but "still fine", and that is a fair assessment. But even at just "fine", Price is more enjoyable to watch than most others of his generation.
The remainder of the cast, as I said, is hardly notable. There is Stephen Rea, who was later nominated for an Oscar, appearing in his first film role (he did a couple of television appearances before that). And there is a man named Guy Pierce in a very small role, but it is not the guy you think it is.
If you are like me, and loved the opening titles, thinking they looked like something out of Monty Python... you would be right. The title sequence was designed and animated by future Python Terry Gilliam. Gilliam, of course, has gone on to do huge things, but his work here is greatly appreciated!
For some reason, there is a happy song sung by a man with a lute about a maiden who is raped by a huntsman, and then gets her revenge on him by castrating him. I do not know how to feel about this being sung as an uplifting ballad.
Overall, the film is good, but not the best. Vincent Price has better films as a witch hunter (including "Conqueror Worm") and better films in general. Still worth seeing, but do not put it at the top of your list. And do not try to find the banshee in this film, because one does not exist. Sorry.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?